Potatoes get all the fame and glory when it comes to gratins, but I think leeks are the ultimate star ingredient for this classic dish.
Now that it’s spring and leeks are coming into season, I want to share this side dish recipe with you. It’s one of my favorite ways to prepare leeks!
If you’re not familiar with leeks, they are in the same family as onions and garlic, and in my opinion are one of the most underrated vegetables around. I very distinctly remember the first time I made leeks, I was caramelizing them for a soup. When I tasted a spoonful of the caramelized leeks, I ended up just eating them all with a spoon and skipping the soup altogether. Yes, they’re that good.
To get started with the Leek Gratin, cut the dark green tops and the roots off, then split the leeks directly down the middle.
Rinse well under running water, as leeks tend to carry a bit of dirt and sand.
Next, you have two options for how to make the gratin. You can either make individual servings in small gratin dishes, like this:
Or you can make the gratin in one large casserole dish, like this:
Both methods work equally as well, with the large casserole dish being slightly easier to prepare, and the mini gratin dishes being a little more attractive. Totally up to you!
Cut the leeks to fit your desired baking dish, then sprinkle with salt and pepper. Drizzle with cream, then bake for about 50 minutes, until mostly tender.
Next, it’s time to prepare the garlic herb butter.
Chop up fresh parsley and fresh thyme leaves, then combine with Land O Lakes® Butter with Canola Oil.
Add pressed garlic to the mix, and stir together.
Now, if you’re wondering why I’m using spreadable butter with canola oil instead of regular butter, this right here is the reason:
Straight out of the fridge, butter with canola oil is soft. Take a spoon or a knife to it and it scoops beautifully, and can be mixed very easily with other ingredients. It’s my favorite to use with toast in the morning because it spreads so nicely, and I also use it for all my compound butters, which is what we’re doing here.
To continue, spread the garlic herb butter mixture all over the crevices of the cut leeks.
Next, top with a mixture of Gruyere and Parmigiano Reggiano cheese.
Finally, sprinkle bread crumbs all over the top.
Bake the gratins for 20 more minutes until bubbling, cheesy and hot, then serve with a sprig of thyme on top.
- 4 large leeks (2 lbs)
- salt and pepper
- 1 cup heavy whipping cream
- 1/4 cup butter
- 2 tablespoon chopped parsley
- 1 tablespoon chopped thyme
- 1 clove garlic pressed or minced
- 3/4 cup shredded Gruyere cheese
- 1/4 cup freshly grated Parmigiano Regianno cheese
- 1 cup bread crumbs
- Preheat the oven to 350°F. Set out either an 8×12 baking dish or six individual gratin dishes.
- Trim the dark green leaves and the roots off the leeks. Slice the leeks in half lengthwise, then rinse very well under running water, making sure you wash off any dirt or sand. Trim the leeks appropriately to fit the baking dish(es), then place the leeks in the dish cut-side up. Sprinkle generously with salt and pepper, then pour the cream over the leeks. Cover the dish tightly with foil, then bake for 50 minutes, until the leeks are mostly tender.
- In a small bowl, mix to combine the butter, parsley, thyme and garlic. Spread the butter all over the leeks, then sprinkle on the Gruyere and Parmesan cheese. Finally, sprinkle with the breadcrumbs. Bake, uncovered, for 15 to 20 minutes, until the cheese and cream are bubbling. Serve hot and enjoy!
Disclosure: Fifteen Spatulas has partnered with Land O’Lakes for an exclusive endorsement of Land O Lakes® Butter for their Kitchen Conversations blogger program. This blog post is sponsored by Land O’Lakes.